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Phillips, Cole join The News
Khouli returns to reporting
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The Covington News has welcomed two new editors. Janet Phillips will step in as editor and Crystal Cole as news editor.

A native of Greenville, S.C., Phillips has more than 30 years of experience as a writer and editor. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of South Carolina with a degree in journalism. She started her career at The Anderson Independent in Anderson, S.C., and then moved to the Greenville News where she worked for 33 years, until taking early retirement in April 2012.

She has held a variety of positions in the newsroom, including news editor, Sunday editor, communities’ editor assistant and Lifestyle editor. Phillips spent 22 years in Lifestyle and her sections were four-time winners of the prestigious Penney-Missouri Awards in lifestyle journalism. Twice, the sections were named the best in the nation in their circulation category.

"I took an early retirement last year in April, but I have quickly ‘unretired’ to join The Covington News," Phillips said. "It is a great opportunity to do great journalism in a beautiful place where I feel right at home… In Greenville, one of my newspapers, called "City People," included a newcomer’s profile every other week. I remember distinctly that virtually everyone we interviewed for that feature talked about how warm and welcoming he or she found Greenville to be. Well, I’m having that same experience in Newton County. Everyone has been helpful, cheerful and charming."

Phillips has three sons, ages 22, 24 and 26. She started with The News on April 22.

News editor Crystal Cole began with The News on March 5. An Alabama native, she studied journalism at Auburn University where she worked at The Auburn Plainsman for two years.

Cole was a sports editor during the Tigers’ national championship season and worked at The Daily Home in Talladega, Ala., before moving to Georgia in late-2012.

"I am honored to be given the opportunity to make a difference at a paper with such a rich history. Covington is a great town and I hope I can serve the community to the best of my abilities," Cole said.

"We are excited about having Janet on our team," said publisher Charles Hill Morris Jr.

"She brings a wealth of experience and talent to the position, and we look forward to her leadership of our local news gathering efforts."

In related news, former editor Gabriel Khouli resumed his reporting duties and once again will cover government and business.

Khouli was previously government and business reporter from February 2009 to April 2012.